Featured Image

Do the math, and you’ll find that a million seconds is about 12 days. And a billion seconds? That’s about 32 years.

I found this quotation from a New York Times essay more about economics than math—Who’s Afraid of Big Numbers? In the past, I’ve lazily wondered what a million dollars in pennies would weigh or could I fit a million dollars in one‐dollar bills in my garage. With recent headlines about federal budgets in the trillions these days, I wanted to expand these absurdly abstract values in an attempt to visualize their scale.

A thousand seconds would be almost 17 minutes, while a trillion seconds would take over 31,000 years. The New York Times also referenced these figures from an opinion piece about the [United States] national debt ceiling, Just How Long Is a Trillion Seconds by Dorothy C. Morrell, back in 1986.

My next referential thought is the infamous film by Charles and Ray Eames, Powers of Ten™ (1977), as well as Josh Worth’s supercool visualization of our solar system. I’m fairly comfortable and confident in knowing how long a foot or an inch is or even six of them. We can thank the International Organization for Standardization, as well as those who use them, for that. But, sixty or six‐hundred feet or inches and I am breaking out the calculator or asking a search engine.

Alright, because I’m trying to be a better person and work on my ADHD‐fueled procrastinating, I went ahead and calculated that a million pennies would weigh over 551,155 pounds or 250 metric tons. Then I came across this page and deduced one million one‐dollar bills would easily fit in the garage.

$100M in $100 notes (or $1M in $1 bills) | Illustration by PageTutor​.com


Found: Random-facts-from-the-internet.txt on a deeply‐buried folder on my HD. Decided to ask the internet again and this apparently is false. According to Mr. Stitt, rupturewort, proprietory, and proterotype are all longer than typewriter—only by a single letter, but…longer. Guess …
1700s · American · Boston · innovation · Inventor · patents · Philadelphia · polymath · Printer · Scientist · Statesman · Writer
Found: listening to Jill Lepore’s brilliant collection of essays, The Deadline: Essays. Specifically, she quoted Benjamin Franklin in Chapter 12, Valley of the Dolls, which is about the Barbie vs Bratz legal battle and …
1900s · 2000s · American · funny · humor · Writer
From an interview with the late, great Larry King. Back in 1975, six of his shows were being broadcast every week to a prime‐time audience:  “All in the Family”  “Maude” “Good Times” “The Jeffersons” “Sanford and Son” …

Trademarks and trade names shown are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement or derogation is intended or inferred. All other content, copyright © 2024 Universal Quotation. All rights reserved.